Neurological Complications of HIV Infection and AIDS

  • Hadi Manji
  • Ruth McAllister
  • Sean Connolly
  • Alan Thompson


In 1981, as the first cases of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were being reported, it soon became apparent that the nervous system was frequently affected. Initially, it seemed as if most of these neurological complications were a consequence of the immunosuppressive effects of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) resulting in opportunistic infections (OI) and tumours. However, as the epidemic unfolded, it was obvious that these presentations could account for only up to 30% of the neurological problems seen. In particular, a progressive decline in cognitive function associated with motor deficits was frequently observed, especially in the later stages of the disease. These observations were supported by the experience in paediatric AIDS where children, who are less susceptible to opportunistic infections, were noted to suffer a progressive deterioration in intellectual abilities with the loss of developmental milestones. There is now a substantial body of evidence to suggest that HIV itself may cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Cryptococcal Meningitis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hadi Manji
  • Ruth McAllister
  • Sean Connolly
  • Alan Thompson

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